Feeding a growing population and meeting renewable energy demands has brought farmers and solar developers into partnerships centered on land designated for agricultural uses. The wide-open acres of American farmland accounts for just under 40% of the landmass in the United States, making them sought after for PV systems for many reasons. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy has even published a guide for farmers adopting solar power.
“It’s cheaper and easier. Single parcel, one payment. You can hide [an array] from the neighbors. The only real hurdle is dealing with utilities,” said Jake Marley, co-owner and manager of Hyperion Systems, a Massachusetts-based solar installer specializing in dual-use arrays.